April 14, 2014

La Dalia and El Tuma

In mid-March, I (Cassie) spent a week in the campo.  Part of my work with Acción Médica Cristiana (AMC), a partner organization of MCC, is helping to coordinate the volunteer groups that come to serve in Nicaragua.  We happened to be hosting two groups, one of youth and the other of medical staff at the same time.  I had the opportunity to accompany the groups and see first-hand some of the projects that AMC is working in.

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The beauty of the communities that we were working in is incredible.  The areas are remote, almost never visited by tourists.  This is due to very difficult road conditions, many communities do not even have bus service because the roads are so bad.  The infrastructure is also very underdeveloped, no electricity and no portable water.

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We visited several farms that are involved in AMC’s land bank programs.  AMC has several land banks, which are basically pieces of land that are divided up and given to farmers and their families for a low cost.  AMC provides technical training and education to the farmers, many of which are women.

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The youth team worked with community members to paint this extension bridge, a bridge which was built a few years ago in collaboration with AMC.  For community members that live in San Joaquin, this bridge cuts off an hour of their walk to the bus-stop.  The painting is not just for looks, but rather helps to protect the longevity of the metal.

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I enjoyed interacting with community members and their children.  This sweet girl was the daughter of a female farmer that we ate lunch with one afternoon.  The farmers were only allowed to serve us food that came from their land and wow, did they impress us!  Also pictured is the pharmacy that the medical team set-up to provide basic medicines to community members.

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On our way back to Managua, we stopped at my AMC’s bosses family coffee farm.  He and his brother own the farm and they gave us a great tour of the coffee harvesting process.  We all left with a few bags, you can’t beat  3 dollars a pound!


Each day I feel honored to serve and work alongside the staff at AMC.  Their commitment to the most vulnerable in Nicaragua is always at the forefront of everything that they do.

Clearview Christian Reformed Church of Oakville, Canada

First Presbyterian Church of Temple, Texas


lisa said...

Cassie I visited that same community and I went across the bridge! We also helped to build the community center that I believe is in the background of the picture of you and the precious little girl you're holding. How cool! I'm glad you enjoyed your time with AMC. I am jealous of the juice you've been creating, too! It sounds so tasty!!! Ross and I are thinking of you both and praying that all is okay with the earthquake situation. Has there been any talk of evacuating Managua? Stay safe!

Cassie and Kevin Zonnefeld said...

No way! I love that you have been to the same places, that is so neat. You should come back again :)

The earthquakes have been a bit difficult, they are just so unpredictable. We are heading out of Managua in the morning with Carrie and Carl (Kevin's siblings). So that is a relief!

Pray for Managua!

Whitney P. said...

I love that you got to spend some time at the Land Banks! I bet you left with your bucket filled. You are doing great stuff! Thanks for sharing your experiences.

Martha Cecilia Ruiz said...

Thank you for your time, your energy and your love for Nicaragua.

Saludos y bendiciones desde Managua,